Showing posts with label Sandro Pertini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sandro Pertini. Show all posts

26 September 2018

Enzo Bearzot - World Cup-winning coach

Led Italy to 1982 triumph in Spain

The pipe-smoking Enzo Bearzot was in
charge of the azzurri for a record 104 games
Enzo Bearzot, the pipe-smoking coach who plotted Italy’s victory at the 1982 World Cup in Spain and at the same time changed the way the national team traditionally played, was born on September 26, 1927 in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northwest Italy.

Italy had a reputation for ultra-defensive and sometimes cynical football but in 44 years had won only one major competition, the 1968 European championships, a much lower-key affair than the current four-yearly Euros, which Italy hosted.

But Bearzot was an admirer of the so-called ‘total football’ philosophy advanced by the Dutch coach Rinus Michels, with which the Netherlands national team reached two World Cup finals in the 1970s, albeit without winning.

Italy did not impress at the start of their Spain adventure, recording three fairly lacklustre draws in their group matches, and were expected to be eliminated in the second group phase when they were obliged to play Argentina, the holders, and a Brazil side brimming with brilliant players.

Bearzot and the team attracted scathing criticism in the Italian press, to the extent that the players and management refused to speak any more to journalists during the tournament, imposing their so-called silenzio stampa - press silence.

Bearzot, right, playing cards on the plane home from Spain with Dino Zoff, Franco Causio and the Italian president Sandro Pertini
Bearzot, right, playing cards on the plane home from Spain with
Dino Zoff, Franco Causio and the Italian president Sandro Pertini
Instead, they made their critics eat their words by beating both Argentina (2-1) and Brazil (3-2), the latter hailed as one of the greatest World Cup matches of all time after Italy led twice and Brazil equalised twice before Italy took the lead again 16 minutes from the end and goalkeeper Dino Zoff pulled off a miraculous late save to deny Brazil another equaliser, which would have taken them through to the semi-finals on goal difference.

All three goals against Brazil were scored by Italy’s wiry centre-forward, Paolo Rossi, whose selection had brought Bearzot more criticism. Rossi had just returned from a two-year suspension for alleged match-fixing, which was controversial enough. He was also a long way behind the rest of the squad in fitness, yet he had scored three goals in the World Cup finals in Argentina in 1978, from which Italy were eliminated by the Netherlands in their final second-phase match, and Bearzot wanted him on board.

Not content with destroying Brazil’s hopes, Rossi scored both goals in Italy’s 2-0 semi-final victory against Poland, and another in the 3-1 win over West Germany in the final, to take the tournament Golden Boot award as top goalscorer, with six.

Bearzot in his playing days at Torino
Bearzot in his playing days at Torino
Although Italy delighted their fans with the gusto of their attacking, they did not entirely abandon tried and trusted methods. Deployed as an old-fashioned man-marker, Claudio Gentile fulfilled his duties to the letter, kicking a young Diego Maradona out of the match with Argentina and doing a similar job on the Brazilian magician Zico, albeit at the cost of a booking that ruled him out of the semi-final.

The final confirmed Bearzot’s transformation from villain to hero in the eyes of the press and earned him four more years in the job, although the 1986 World Cup in Mexico earned him renewed criticism, this time for showing too much faith in his 1982 players, who had lost some of their edge and went out to France in the round of 16.

Bearzot resigned after that defeat but his 104 matches as national coach - seven more even than the legendary Vittorio Pozzo, who was in the dug-out for 97 games - is unlikely ever to be surpassed.

Born in the village of Aiello del Friuli, about 45km (28 miles) northwest of Trieste and about 25km (16 miles) southeast of Udine, Bearzot was the son of a bank manager who had little interest in football and whose wrath he risked by missing two crucial university exams to play in the first team for his club, Pro Gorizia, ruining his chances of completing his degree.

Marcello Lippi, who won the World Cup in 2006, was mentored by Bearzot
Marcello Lippi, who won the World Cup in
2006, was mentored by Bearzot
Tall and strongly built, Bearzot usually played as what would now be described as a defensive midfielder. In his club career, he helped the Sicilian team Catania win promotion to Serie A and had long spells with both Inter Milan and Torino. He made one appearance for the azzurri - the  national team.

He took up coaching with Torino but his only head coach role before he joined the technical staff of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) was with the Serie C club Prato. This lack of club experience meant that, when he worked his way through the ranks to be under-23 coach and then senior coach in 1975 meant there was scepticism from the start over his credentials for the job, even among his fellow coaches.

Bearzot’s success, however, silenced them all.  After Mexico ‘86, he disappeared from football for the most part, never taking another coaching job. He rejoined the FIGC as president of the technical sector in 2002 and was a mentor to Marcello Lippi, who was to match Bearzot’s achievement  by winning the World Cup himself as coach in 2006.

Bearzot retired for good in 2005. He died in 2010 after a long illness and was buried at the church of Santa Maria al Paradiso in Milan, where goalkeeper Zoff and midfielder Bruno Conti were among the pallbearers, with Rossi part of a congregation that included Antonio Cabrini, Giuseppe Bergomi Alessandro Altobelli and Marco Tardelli among other members of the 1982 World Cup winning team.

The beautiful Piazza della Libertà is one of the features of the Friulian city of Udine
The beautiful Piazza della Libertà is one of the features
of the Friulian city of Udine
Travel tip:

Udine, the nearest city to Bearzot’s home village of Aiello, is an attractive and wealthy provincial city which is the gastronomic capital of Friuli. Udine's most attractive area lies within the medieval centre, which has Venetian, Greek and Roman influences. The main square, Piazza della Libertà, features the town hall, the Loggia del Lionello, built in 1448–1457 in the Venetian-Gothic style, and a clock tower, the Torre dell’Orologio, which is similar to the clock tower in Piazza San Marco - St Mark's Square - in Venice.

The church of Santa Maria at Paradiso in Milan, where Bearzot is buried
The church of Santa Maria at Paradiso
in Milan, where Bearzot is buried
Travel tip:

The church of Santa Maria al Paradiso is in the Ticinese district of Milan, about 1.5km (1 mile) south of the city centre, near the Crocetta metro station. It was begun in 1590 for the Third Order of Saint Francis, after designs by Martino Bassi. The facade, however, was only added in 1897 in a Neo-Baroque style by the architect Ernesto Pirovano. Ticinese is one of the oldest parts of central Milan. It takes its name from Porta Ticinese, a 16th century gate to the city rebuilt in the early 19th century with large ionic order columns. The area also includes the remains of a Roman amphitheatre and the basilicas of San Lorenzo and Sant'Eustorgio, and has a thriving nightlife with a large choice of bars and restaurants.

More reading:

How Paolo Rossi made the difference in a World Cup classic

Marco Tardelli and THAT celebration

How Marcello Lippi led Italy to glory in 2006

Also on this day:

1973: The death of the actress Anna Magnani

1977: The Assisi earthquake


4 August 2017

Giovanni Spadolini - politician

The first non-Christian Democrat to lead Italian Republic

Giovanni Spadolini in 1987
Giovanni Spadolini in 1987
Giovanni Spadolini, who was the Italian Republic’s first prime minister not to be drawn from the Christian Democrats and was one of Italy's most respected politicians, died on this day in 1994.

In a country where leading politicians and businessman rarely survive a whole career without becoming embroiled in one corruption scandal or another, he went to the grave with his reputation for honesty intact.

Although he was an expert on Italian unification and became a professor of contemporary history at the University of Florence when he was only 25, a background that gave him a deep knowledge of Italian politics, he first built a career as a journalist.

He became a political columnist for several magazines and newspapers, including Il Borghese, Il Mondo and Il Messaggero, and was appointed editor of the Bologna daily II Resto del Carlino in 1955, at the age of 30.

In 1968, having doubled Il Resto’s circulation, he left Bologna to become the editor at Corriere della Sera, in Milan, where he remained until 1972.  It was while editing the Corriere that he became known for his anti-extremist stance, condemning violent student activists on the left and terrorists on the right in equal measure.

Under his stewardship, the Corriere took a strong anti-Communist stance, provoking attacks on its offices by angry demonstrators. Once, a stone thrown by a demonstrator smashed through Spadolini’s office window. He picked it up and placed it on his desk, where it remained throughout his time as editor, as a reminder of the turmoil brought about by political extremism.

Prime Minister Spadolini with the Italian president, Sandro Pertini
Prime Minister Spadolini (right) with the
Italian president, Sandro Pertini
During his time in Milan, Spadolini was persuaded to enter politics. In 1972, after leaving the Corriere, he was elected senator as an independent with the Republican Party. He was appointed Minister of Cultural Affairs in Aldo Moro’s cabinet in 1974.

He became leader of the Italian Republican Party in 1979, a position he held until 1987, and in 1981 he was chosen to be Italy's first non-Christian-Democrat prime minister by the Socialist President, Sandro Pertini.

In partnership, these two men did much to restore the credibility of Italy's political institutions after years of terrorist violence and the scandal of the secret P2 Masonic lodge, a secret society that included politicians, businessmen, some high-ranking military officers and policemen, that attempted to create a ‘state within a state.’  Spadolini introduced laws suppressing secret organisations.

It was during Spadolini’s time in office that the anti-terrorist unit of the Italian police freed the United States general James Lee Dozier, who had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades.  He also achieved a drop in inflation from 22 per cent to 16 per cent during his 18 months in office.

Spadolini, born into a bourgeois Florentine family, was known as a connoisseur of good food and drink and his wide girth became the target of Italy's political cartoonists.

Yet, in the 1983 national election, the Republican Party capitalised on Spadolini's popularity, realising 5.1 per cent of the vote, the highest they had achieved.

The Spadolini villa outside Florence is now the home of a cultural foundation
The Spadolini villa outside Florence is
now the home of a cultural foundation
He became dismayed at a new class of politician emerging at that time, whom he felt were preoccupied with grabbing the spoils of power rather than healing the ills of the country. As the speaker of the Senate from 1987, Spadolini regularly underlined his concern for Italy's institutions.

From 1987 to April 1994, he was president of the Italian Senate and, for a month in 1992, acting president of Italy, following the resignation of Francesco Cossiga. 

After the electoral success of Silvio Berlusconi's House of Freedoms party, he lost the presidency of the Senate to Carlo Scognamiglio Pasini by a single vote. He died four months later in Rome.

In his villa at Pian dei Giulliari, in the countryside near Florence, Spadolini left a library containing some 70,000 volumes on contemporary history and the 19th century. The villa became home to a cultural foundation dedicated to the study of Italian unity.

Casa Spadolini at 28 Via Cavour in Florence
Casa Spadolini at 28 Via Cavour in Florence
Travel tip:

Spadolini’s home until 1978 was at 28 Via Cavour, one of the principal streets in the northern part of the historic centre of Florence, a four-storey palazzo that had been acquired by his grandfather.  Spadolini kept the house as his main residence even while he was editing in Bologna and Milan and serving the country in Rome. He left for the family villa in Pian dei Giullari after the death of his mother.

Travel tip:

Pian dei Giullari is a picturesque village in the hills some 5km (3 miles) south of Florence.  Many villas line the Via Pian dei Giullari that runs through the village. The Spadolini Foundation is at number 139. On the same street can be found Il Gioiello, where the physicist, mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei spent his last years.

10 May 2017

Antonio Ghirelli - journalist

Neapolitan writer specialised in football and politics

Antonio Ghirelli
Antonio Ghirelli, a patriarch of Italian journalism, was born on this day in 1922 in Naples.

As passionate about football as he was about politics, Ghirelli was equally at home writing about both. At different times he edited the three principal Italian sports daily newspapers, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport, but also wrote with distinction in the editorial and opinion pages of such respected titles as L'Unità, Paese Sera, Avanti!, Corriere della Sera, Il Mondo and Il Globo.

Sandro Pertini, who was President of Italy from 1978 to 1985, so respected his wisdom that he invited him to be head of the Quirinale press office. His politics were in line with those of the Socialist Pertini, as they were with Bettino Craxi, Italy’s first Socialist prime minister, for whom he was principal press officer during Craxi’s two spells in office.

Ghirelli’s first taste of politics came at university in Naples, when he wrote for a young Fascist journal.  Any sympathies he might have had with the Fascists soon disappeared, however, as Mussolini’s early socialist ideals became corrupted by his fervent nationalism and intolerance of political opponents.

Instead, Ghirelli joined the Italian Communist Party and fought against the Fascists in the Second World War as a member of the Italian Resistance. With sponsorship from the Americans, he became a voice of Radio Free Bologna.

Ghirelli worked for the president, Sandro Pertini, at the Quirinale
Ghirelli worked for the president,
Sandro Pertini, at the Quirinale
In turn he was driven away from communism, mainly by the events in Hungary in 1956, when a people’s uprising against the rigidity and anti-democratic nature of Hungarian government was ruthlessly put down by Soviet troops.

He signed up instead with the Italian Socialist Party, his association with whom would later bring him into contact with Pertini.

Ghirelli cut his teeth in journalism with L'Unità, Milano Sera and Paese Sera, the afternoon edition of the left-wing Rome daily Il Paese, before his love of football and in particular his team, Napoli, drew him away from politics and into sport as the Rome editor of La Gazzetta dello Sport.

A period as editor of Tuttosport followed before Corriere dello Sport offered him the chance to apply his skills to editing the whole newspaper, which he did with success from 1965 to 1972.

In a departure from what seemed to be a secure position, he accepted the chance to work for Pertini, another left-winger in the political context who shared his enthusiasm for football. The arrangement seemed perfect for Ghirelli, only to fail after only two years over a press release concerning prime minister Francesco Cossiga, and pressure for him to resign over his supposed involvement in helping the left-wing terrorist, Marco Donat-Cattin – son of a Christian Democrat minister – to escape Italy.  Ghirelli resigned, it is said, to protect the young colleague who wrote the press release.

Ghirelli pictured during the 1980s
Ghirelli pictured during the 1980s
It was not long, however, before he returned to a position of influence in Rome’s political circles, appointed by Craxi to head the prime minister’s press office.

Once Craxi’s two periods in office were over, Ghirelli returned to mainstream journalism, first in television as the editor of TG2, the news section of Rai Due, and then as editor of the socialist newspaper Avanti!

A prolific author, Ghirelli wrote numerous books, several with a political theme but also many about the history of his beloved home city, Naples, and a number about Italian football.

He died in Rome in 2012, a month short of his 90th birthday, having remained politically active – he had joined the reconstituted Italian Socialist Party in 2008 – almost to the end.  Since his death, the Italian Football Federation has awarded an annual prize for football writing, the Premio Antonio Ghirelli.

Travel tip:

The Palazzo del Quirinale (more often known simply as Il Quirinale) takes its name from its location on Quirinal Hill, the highest of the seven hills of Rome. Built originally in 1583 as a summer residence for Pope Gregory XIII, it has been the official home of the president of Italy since the republic was established in 1946. The current president, Sergio Mattarella, is the 12th in that office to occupy the living quarters. He follows 30 popes and four Kings of Italy, it having been the official royal residence from 1871. Covering an area of 110,500 square metres, it is the ninth-largest palace in the world, with 1,200 rooms. By comparison, the White House in Washington is one 20th of the size.

The Villa Rosebery overlooks the Bay of Naples
The Villa Rosebery overlooks the Bay of Naples
Travel tip: 

In his affection for Naples, Ghirelli would have enjoyed the times in which Sandro Pertini chose to leave Rome for the official presidential residence in Naples, the Villa Rosebery, which occupies a 6.6-hectare (16.3 acres) site in the Marechiaro district, a well-to-do area of the city overlooking the north side of the Bay of Naples, with views of Vesuvius and, from some vantage points, the island of Capri. It is so named because it was once owned by a British prime minister, The 5th Earl of Rosebery. Formerly a Bourbon residence, it fell within the territory that became part of the united Italy after the overthrow of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1860. Lord Rosebery bought it from a business associate, Gustavo Delahente, in 1897.  


24 February 2017

Sandro Pertini - popular president

Man of the people who fought Fascism

Sandro Pertini (right) congratulates coach Enzo Bearzot after Italy won the World Cup in Spain in 1982
Sandro Pertini (right) congratulates coach Enzo Bearzot
after Italy won the World Cup in Spain in 1982
Sandro Pertini, the respected and well-liked socialist politician who served as Italy's President between 1978 and 1985, died on this day in 1990, aged 93.

Pertini, a staunch opponent of Fascism who was twice imprisoned by Mussolini and again by the Nazis, passed away at the apartment near the Trevi Fountain in Rome that he shared with his wife, Carla.

After his death was announced, a large crowd gathered in the street near his apartment, with some of his supporters in tears.  Francesco Cossiga, who had succeeded him as President, visited the apartment to offer condolences to Pertini's widow, 30 years his junior.  They had met towards the end of the Second World War, when they were both fighting with the Italian resistance movement.

Pertini's popularity stemmed both from his strong sense of morality and his unwavering good humour.  He had the charm and wit to win over most people he met and was blessed with the common touch.

Sandro Pertini with his customary pipe
Sandro Pertini with his
customary pipe
He would make a point whenever it was possible of appearing in person to greet parties of schoolchildren visiting the presidential palace, sometimes joined the staff for lunch and endeared himself to the nation with his passionate support for Italy's football team at the 1982 World Cup final in Spain.

Pertini's life story was extraordinary.  Born in Stella, in Liguria, in the province of Savona, he was the son of a wealthy landowner and was given an expensive education, culminating in a Law degree from the University of Genoa.

He was patriotic inasmuch as he enlisted to fight in the Italian army in the First World War even though he opposed Italy's involvement, but his politics leaned towards the left.  After the war he joined the Unitary Socialist Party (PSU) and settled in Florence.

Already openly opposed to the Fascists, whose squads of paramilitary thugs beat him up more than once, his attitude hardened considerably when Giacomo Matteotti, the PSU leader, was murdered soon after accusing Mussolini's party of using violence and fraud to influence the 1924 elections.

He was arrested for the first time in 1925 for 'inciting hatred' after attacking the Fascists in print for their "barbarous domination" and sentenced to eight months' jail.  He managed to escape and fled to France.

Sandro Pertini made a point whenever possible of meeting children in person when they visited the presidential palace
Sandro Pertini made a point whenever possible of meeting
children in person when they visited the presidential palace
Pertini kept his head down at first, working as a taxi driver in Paris, but after moving to Nice to work as a bricklayer he was twice prosecuted for his role in political disturbances.  Back in Italy, where he felt compelled to return to join the anti-Fascist underground, he was arrested in connection with a failed plot assassinate Mussolini.

Exiled to Santo Stefano, an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, he was released with the arrest of Mussolini in 1943. Recaptured by the occupying Nazi forces and sentenced to death, he was freed by partisans and joined the anti-Nazi resistance movement.

By then the PSU had rejoined the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) from which it had broken away previously, and after being part of the Constituent Assembly charged with designing the constitution for the new Italian Republic, Pertini was elected to the Chamber of Deputies under the PSI flag.

In 1968 he became president of the Chamber of Deputies and in 1978 President of the Republic, elected as a compromise candidate respected by politicians of the left and right.

Although by then he was 72, the pipe-smoking Pertini did much to restore the credibility of the political system in Italy at a time when the country was demoralised by internal terrorism, corruption scandals and a weak economy. He denounced the violence of the Red Brigades, spoke out against organized crime and expressed his disgust with South African apartheid, the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and other dictatorial regimes. He also criticised the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Pertini was pictured playing cards with Dino Zoff, Franco  Causio, and Enzo Bearzot on the plane home from Spain
Pertini was pictured playing cards with Dino Zoff, Franco
 Causio, and Enzo Bearzot on the plane home from Spain
By the time he left office in 1985, corruption was still a problem but the Anni di piombo - the Years of Lead - had been left behind, the economy was recovering well... and Italy had won the World Cup.

Always his own man, Pertini declined the opportunity to live in the Quirinale Palace, preferring his own apartment, and rather than be ferried around in state-owned limousines he had his wife drive him around Rome in a red Fiat 500.  Despite being an atheist, he had a close friendship with Pope John Paul II. He rushed to the Gemelli Hospital in Rome as soon as news reached him of the assassination attempt against John Paul II in 1981 and refused to go home until doctors assured him the pontiff was out of danger.

After Italy's World Cup victory, he invited the team to a reception at the Quirinale, telling striker Paolo Rossi, whose goals had been vital to the Azzurri triumph, that the chance to congratulate the players made it his "best day as President."

Stella San Giovanni nestles on a hillside overlooking the coast of Liguria, not far from the port of Savona
Stella San Giovanni nestles on a hillside overlooking
the coast of Liguria, not far from the port of Savona
Travel tip:

Sandro Pertini was born in Stella San Giovanni, one of five frazioni that make up an area collectively known as Stella, situated about 15 minutes inland from the Ligurian coastline not far from the sea port of Savona, which is notable for having been a major centre in the Italian iron industry and also as the one-time home of the explorer Christopher Columbus.  Its medieval centre is interesting for the Cathedral of Assunta and the adjoining Cistine Chapel and for the Priamar Fortress, built in 1542 after the Genoese had captured Savona. It later became a prison, where the revolutionary politician Giuseppe Mazzini was once held for being a member of a banned political organisation.

Hotels in Savona from

The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque  fountain in Rome
The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque
 fountain in Rome 
Travel tip:

The Trevi Fountain, which takes its name from the Trevi district in Rome, was commissioned by Pope Clement XII and designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi in slightly controversial circumstances. The Pope had organised a contest for the best design, which Salvi lost to Alessandro Galilei, but awarding the commission to a Florentine caused a public outcry in Rome and to curb unrest it was eventually given to Salvi by default. Standing 26.3 metres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world, playing a starring role in Federico Fellini's film, La Dolce Vita.  Work began in 1732 and the fountain was completed in 1762, long after Salvi's death, with Pietro Bracci - who was responsible for setting Oceanus - the god of all water - in the central niche, taking over.

(Picture credits: all Pertini pictures from; Stella San Giovanni panorama by Davide Papalini; Trevi Fountain by Paul Vlaar; all via Wikemedia Commons)

15 September 2016

Umberto II - last King of Italy

Brief reign was followed by long exile

The future King of Italy, Umberto II, pictured  in 1944
The future King of Italy, Umberto II,
pictured  in 1944
The last King of Italy, Umberto II, was born on this day in 1904 in Racconigi in Piedmont.

Umberto reigned over Italy from 9 May 1946 to 12 June 1946 and was therefore nicknamed the May King - Re di Maggio.

When Umberto Nicola Tommaso Giovanni Maria di Savoia was born at the Castle of Racconigi he became heir apparent to the Italian throne as the only son and third child of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and his wife Queen Elena of Montenegro.

He was given the title of Prince of Piedmont.

Umberto married Marie Jose of Belgium in Rome in 1930 and they had four children.

He became de facto head of state in 1944 when his father, Victor Emmanuel III, transferred his powers to him in an attempt to repair the monarchy’s image after the fall of Benito Mussolini’s regime.

The imposing frontage of the Castle of Racconigi,
birthplace in Piedmont of Umberto II
Victor Emmanuel III abdicated his throne in favour of Umberto in 1946 ahead of a referendum on the abolition of the monarchy in the hope that his exit and a new King might give a boost to the popularity of the monarchy.

However, after the referendum, Italy was declared a republic and Umberto had to live out the rest of his life in exile in Portugal.

He never set foot in Italy again because the constitution of the new republic barred all male heirs to the throne from entering the country.

When it became apparent that Umberto was dying in 1983, the Italian President, Sandro Pertini, wanted the Italian parliament to allow Umberto to return.

But this never happened and Umberto II died in March 1983 in Geneva and was interred in Hautecombe Abbey in Saint-Pierre-de-Curtille in France, which for centuries had been the burial place of members of the House of Savoy.

Travel tip:

The royal Castle of Racconigi, where Umberto II was born, is in Racconigi in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont. Dating back to around the year 1000, the castle was originally inhabited by Cistercian monks. It was acquired by the House of Savoy in the 16th century and in 1630, Duke Charles Emmanuel I granted it to his nephew, Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignano and it became the official residence of the Carignano line of the House of Savoy. It has now been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

The Palazzo Carignano in Turin
The Palazzo Carignano in Turin
Travel tip:

Palazzo Carignano in Turin, was once a private residence used by the Princes of Carignano. It was built in the 17th century on the orders of Emmanuel Philibert, the son of Thomas Francis, Prince of Carignano. It was the birthplace of the first King of the new, united Italy, Victor Emmanuel II, and it was where the first Italian parliament met in 1861. The baroque palace in Via Accademia delle Scienze in Turin now houses a Museum of the Risorgimento.

More reading:

Mussolini and the founding of the Italian Fascists

The abdication of King Victor Emmanuel III

(Photo of the Castle of Racconigi by Geobia CC BY-SA 3.0)